Barney Oliver Amp serial # 183

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by biscuithead, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    So I happened upon a Barney Oliver Amp. It was being sold by a former HP employee. I picked it up, replaced a transistor, cap, and resistor and Magic!
    I have a Pioneer PL-61 with a V-15 III cart, the first 10 seconds on any lp is silent. It is hooked up to some Snells and JBLs ( they are in series to achieve 8 ohms).
    Nice sound without many adjustments, just some filter choices... I have heard praise, and I have heard criticism (from a former Marantz engineer). I love it. Specs are great, Sound is magical... Anyone else have one of these with opinions?
     
  2. guiller

    guiller Toscaninichus Australis

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    Congratulations! There are some nice pictures here: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?1133-Barney-Oliver . Would you please post some of your unit?

    PS: Barney was so obsessive that he optimized the amplifiers performance for a Shure V15 type II phono cartridge (best available @ the time) and J B Lansing LE85 and LE15A speakers. Per chanel power rating into 8 ohm speakers is 50 watts continuous, 160 watts peak.

    quoted from the above link.
     
  3. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    Thanks!
    Now I have to look for some new JBLs...
    Pics will come soon, I already stacked it in a "stacked" stack... very difficult to get in and out...
     
  4. larryderouin

    larryderouin Do I get Food, Med's, or more gear this Month? Subscriber

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    That's TWO! AK'er Apple_scruff has one he recently picked up.
     
  5. apple_scruff

    apple_scruff Active Member

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  6. guiller

    guiller Toscaninichus Australis

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  7. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    I have only recently figured out how lucky I am to get my hands on one...
     
  8. guiller

    guiller Toscaninichus Australis

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    Indeed, you are. Now you would need a bit more of luck and get a pair of J B Lansing LE85 or LE15A speakers!
     
  9. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    Listening to Melody Gardot through the Barney.... Ahhh
     
  10. zoso80

    zoso80 New Member

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    Hi biscuithead,

    Another Barney Oliver owner here. I have unit #471 out of 500. I posted on another thread a bit about it. The short story is it's been in my family since day 1. My father worked for HP in the 1970s and got his order in just in time for the second and final batch to be produced. It went to me in the 1990s. I used it regularly until 2002. It's been in storage since.

    It's only after recently looking at it sitting stowed safely away I've thought it's time to get it operational again. I'd have to get it to Seattle (275 miles) to get the million mile service as where I live there is no one who works on vintage audio anymore.

    In the pictures below you'll notice the original power switch is out and on top of the unit. It failed around 2000. A replacement wasn't found, so the tech just put in a toggle switch. I honestly don't like that. That red glow with the unit powered and cruising is the stuff of my childhood memories. I've always wanted to find a replacement for the Marco-Oak presslight switch.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I did have some luck with the cinch-jones P202CCT plug for the speakers. I found the metal OEM units that screw in for about 13 bucks a pop. Oak Tree Vintage had the plastic non-threading type for about the same price. I am amazed after almost 40 years, I was able to find the OEM replacement!

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    SS
     
  11. Radio Guy

    Radio Guy New Member

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    Howdy,
    And another Barney Oliver owner here, S/N 285. I had forgotten about my amp for several years, which was buried in the garage and running across this thread prompted me to dig it out and play some music through it today. I had forgotten how good it sounds despite the large amount of negative feedback that was used on this design.

    I've owned two Barney Oliver amps over the years and sold one off about 10ys ago. My first encounter with a Barney Oliver was around 1979 when it was positively the best sounding amp I had heard up to that point. Its owner at that time loved to tell his story about running it through the traveling McIntosh clinic and getting a straight line drawn through the distortion graph along with some dirty looks from the McIntosh folks.

    Anyway, back it goes into the garage and hopefully I'll find a permanent place to play and display the little guy.
    Radio Guy
     
  12. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    ZoSo, Radio Guy-

    I am glad to be a part of this club... I listen to my Barney almost daily...

    I have an old pioneer PL-61 with a v-15 cart that I love the way it sounds with this amp.
    I have tried my other TTs (Garrard, Elac, 3 Technics, a PL-A35, an old Colarro, a webcor, a Yamaha, an HK, and a PLL-530) with this cart and my favorite is still the PL-61. I play it through some old Snells and JBLS that I have (both are 4 ohm, so I run in Parallel), it sounds great! I look forward to more folks joining this thread...
     
  13. zoso80

    zoso80 New Member

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    Been awhile, just passing by to see if any new posts in this thread and to ask a question.

    Specifically, I'm trying to chase down a replacement marco-oak power switch series 616. I've been able to round up two, however BOTH were DOA. I'd like to put the OEM part back in the unit instead of that bloody toggle switch.

    Anyone have a lead?


    Cheers.
     
  14. ryuuoh

    ryuuoh FFXIV Summoner Subscriber

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  15. zoso80

    zoso80 New Member

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    Thanks for the info ryuuoh, much appreciated.

    I ordered two of them.

    Also anyone else looking for 616 series parts, these are on ebay... if you have your original switch, just swap out the lens.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/351111666106

    $15 for two... sold.

    I'll let you know if the ones I ordered work.

    Cheers.
     
  16. zoso80

    zoso80 New Member

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    #471 restored

    Thanks to Joel Street of Spokane, WA for the service. He did a great job. The Barney is the healthiest it's been since 1975!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    Zoso,

    BEE- OOO- TEE -FUL !
    Did the 616 switch work out well?
    I'm still looking for the right JBLs for this ... but in the mean time, I am enjoying. Hope you will enjoy yours too!
     
  18. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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  19. dshoaf

    dshoaf That high voltage buzz Subscriber

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    Nice, I saw one this past weekend a Burning Amp. Finally got to see one up close. I had heard of them all my career at HP. It is just down the road from me but the last thing I need right now is yet another amp!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,

    David
     
  20. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    I think every time in the last 5 years that I've bought a new amplifier I've said this...
     

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